All content copyright © South London Federation 2015 - 2018
Last updated May 2018

SLF Handbook

Section 2 Federation History

Section 2 FEDERATION HISTORY When,   at   the   end   of   1946,   following   the   end   of   the   war,   photographic   materials   and   leisure   time   began   to   be   more   freely   available,   a small   group   of   enthusiasts   met   at   the   home   of   one   of   their   number   to   discuss   how   amateur   photography   in   the   South   London   area could   be   encouraged   and   improved.   The   result   was   a   general   meeting   held   on   23rd   January   1947   under   the   auspices   of   the Croydon   Camera   Club,   at   which   eight   clubs   duly   agreed   to   form   themselves   into   THE   SOUTH   LONDON   FEDERATION   of Photographic   Societies*,   the   object   of   which   was   “To   improve   the   facilities   for   photography   and   foster   fraternal   relations   between federated societies.” Those eight clubs were: ACC    &    TAB    C.C.,    BECKENHAM    P.S.,    CROYDON    C.C.,    PUTNEY    C.C.,    OLD    COULSDON    C.C.,    SOUTH    LONDON    P.S., STREATHAM PARK P.S. and SUTTON C.C. Since   those   early   days   many   clubs   have   come   and   gone,   some   having   joined   and   left   the   Federation   more   than   once;   others   have changed   their   names,   amalgamated,   or   for   one   reason   or   another   been   dissolved.   The   total   number   of   clubs   in   membership   has varied, the maximum being 26 at the time of the 21st Birthday celebrations in 1968. From   the   beginning,   the   aim   of   the   Committee   has   been   to   encourage   the   exchange   of   visits   and   ideas   among   the   member   clubs. In   the   first   two   years,   in   spite   of   having   to   work   on   shoe-string   finances,   the   Committee   organised   inter-Club   competitions,   postal portfolios,    and    produced    a    syllabus    containing    an    outline    programme    for    all    member    clubs.   A    start    was    also    made    on    the preparation   of   a   list   of   judges   and   lecturers,   and   a   very   successful   inter-Federation   meeting   was   held   with   the   Middlesex   County Photographic   Alliance.   Under   the   Chairmanship   of   Mr.   S.   E.   Whittaker   ARICS,   of   Croydon   C.C.,   and   with   Mr.   L.B.   Fleming   of Streatham Park P.S. as Secretary, the firm foundation was established on which all subsequent success has been built. Undoubtedly    the    most    appreciated    activity    of    the    Federation    has    been    the    inter-Club    competitions.    The    monochrome    print competition   was   started   in   1947   with   the   original   members   formed   into   two   groups   of   four.   South   London   P.S.   won   the   first   series   of competitions   in   their   Jubilee   year   and   were   the   first   holders   of   the   Holroyd   Trophy   generously   presented   by   Mr.   R.   O.   Wooton   on behalf of Putney C.C. The   first   Finals   were   held   by   invitation   of   member   clubs   on   their   own   meeting   nights   until   1952,   when   the   Committee   felt   sufficiently confident   of   the   interest   in   the   competitions   to   hire   a   hall   at   Cambridge   House,   Camberwell,   on   a   Saturday   and   put   on   a   full afternoon’s   programme.   This   included,   in   addition   to   the   final   of   the   inter-Club   competition,   competitions   for   individual   entries   of monochrome    and    colour    slides,    and    prints    made    from    35mm    negatives,    a    film    show,    and    an    address    by    Baron,    the    court photographer.   For   the   first   time   an   exhibition   of   certificate   winning   prints   was   hung   and   the   best   print   of   the   year   was   selected.   The result   was   a   resounding   success   from   which   has   grown   the   annual   Finals   Day   event   which   is   now   one   of   the   biggest   and   best supported meetings among amateur photographers. In   1957   the   Finals   were   held   at   Cobbs   Banqueting   Hall,   Sydenham   in   the   presence   of   the   President   and   Vice   President   of   the   Royal Photographic   Society.   In   1958   and   1959   we   enjoyed   the   facilities   at   Lambeth   Town   Hall,   and   in   1960   moved   to   the   Livesey Memorial   Hall,   Lower   Sydenham,   where   the   Kent   Gas   C.C.   generously   provided   excellent   accommodation   for   all   subsequent   Finals events until 1976. In   1977,   78   and   79   the   event   was   held   at   St.   Mary’s   Church   Hall,   Wellesley   Road,   Croydon,   the   H.Q.   of   Thornton   Heath   C.C.   In 1980   Selsdon   C.C.   arranged   for   the   Finals   to   be   held   at   St.   John’s   Church   Hall,   Selsdon.   From   1981   to   1991   Old   Coulsdon   C.C. hosted   the   event   at   their   (then)   Headquarters   at   Coulsdon   Youth   and   Social   Centre.   The   event   continued   to   be   held   there   until 2006,   except   for   1990   when   we   had   to   go   to   Purley   Council   Offices   for   the   day.   In   2007   the   Federation   has   opted   to   move   to   All Saints   Church   halls,   Sanderstead.   1992   saw   the   first   year   of   having   a   different   Club   each   year   to   organise   the   catering   for   Finals Day. To   add   zest   to   the   competitions,   trophies   have   very   kindly   been   presented   by   various   members   from   time   to   time;   a   full   list   is   given elsewhere in this handbook. Over   the   years,   various   other   interests   have   been   catered   for,   such   as   competitions   for   slides,   colour   prints,   and   audio-visual presentations,   including   a   biennial   Audio-Visual   Competition   held   at   Sanderstead.   The   Audio-Visual   Competition   was   started   in 1985   as   an   annual   event   but   in   1990   changed   to   its   present   biennial   frequency,   to   allow   competitors   more   time   to   acquire   sufficient material to put together a programme of work of a higher standard. In   2005   the   first   competition,   Jack’s   Jug,   was   held   for   images   projected   digitally,   and   in   the   following   year   the   federation   organised its   first   inter-club   competition,   The   Vic   Smith   Trophy,   for   such   images.   In   this   respect   we   were   ahead   of   our   neighbouring federations in consolidating digital photography into our programme. We   have   also   held   from   time   to   time   autumn   lectures   and   meetings   of   judges   and   programme   secretaries.   Seminars   to   help   new judges   have   been   organised   to   swell   the   number   of   judges   working   in   our   area.   From   1983   biennial   exhibitions   have   been   held   in the   Fairfield   Halls   with   the   sponsorship   of   Mr. Alex   Falk   of   Mr   Cad   and   then   with   the   sponsorship   of   Hargreaves   (KJP)   Ltd.   In   1999 the Exhibition was moved to the Sutton Central Library, but has not been held since, owing to lack of sponsorship. Since   the   new   Millennium   the   Federation   has   increasingly   felt   the   pressures   experienced   by   many   voluntary   groups   in   these modern   times.   Numbers   were   generally   going   down   and   clubs   were   finding   it   difficult   to   attract   younger   people.   However   the accessibility   and   excitement   of   digital   technology   is   starting   to   reverse   these   trends   and   in   many   clubs   there   is   a   growing   confidence in   the   future. A   notable   feature   of   the   changes   in   club   membership   is   that   the   nearer   to   inner-London   the   club   is   located,   the   harder it   is   to   survive. This   trend   has   been   clear   throughout   the   sixty   years   of   the   federation,   and   even   clubs   established   for   over   a   hundred years,   such   as Thornton   Heath,   have   not   been   spared. The   result   is   that   the   remaining   clubs   lie   in   a   narrow   ring   around   the   edge   of the Federation’s geographic limits, a less-than-ideal situation. The   Federation   has   joined   the   Kent   County   Photographic   Association,   who   actually   altered   their   Rules   to   enable   us   to   do   so,   our only   right   of   membership   being   that   we   have   access   to   the   low   cost   public   liability   insurance   arranged   through   the   Photographic Alliance of Great Britain. August   2003   marked   the   end   of   an   era   with   the   passing   of   Kathy   Robinson,   who   had   given   31   years’   service   to   the   Federation   as Hon.   Secretary,   and   the   stepping   down   of   her   successor   as   Hon   Secretary,   Eddie   Harris   of   Beckenham   PS,   after   14   years’   service. The AGM   of   that   year   saw   fresh   volunteers   for   the   principal   Committee   posts,   and   there   remains   a   strong   awareness   of   the   value   of the Federation. We have a solid nucleus of clubs which should ensure that the Federation continues for the foreseeable future. In   2009   it   was   decided   to   revise   the   organisation   of   the   main   competitions   to   accommodate   the   changing   number   of   clubs   and   the increasing   difficulty   of   finding   enough   experienced   judges. This   re-organisation   also   saw   the   introduction   of   Plate   competitions.   With the   overwhelming   shift   to   digital   photography,   it   also   saw   the   replacement   of   the   slide   competitions   with   Projected   Digital   Image competitions   in   the   main   Federation   events   calendar.   The   slide   competitions   continued   to   be   run   on   a   separate   evening.   The   new arrangements have worked very well in their first few years. The   Federation’s   last   slide   competitions   were   held   in   2011.   By   the   following   year   there   were   considered   insufficient   slide   workers   in member clubs to make them viable. They were, therefore, discontinued and marked the end of an era in the Federation’s history. * The   federation’s   name   was   later   changed   to   “The   Federation   of   South   London   Photographic   Societies”   to   avoid   confusion   with   the existing club, the “South London Photographic Society”
All content copyright © South London Federation 2015 - 2017

SLF Handbook

Section 2 Federation History

Section 2 FEDERATION HISTORY When,    at    the    end    of    1946,    following    the    end    of    the    war, photographic   materials   and   leisure   time   began   to   be   more freely   available,   a   small   group   of   enthusiasts   met   at   the   home of   one   of   their   number   to   discuss   how   amateur   photography   in the   South   London   area   could   be   encouraged   and   improved. The   result   was   a   general   meeting   held   on   23rd   January   1947 under   the   auspices   of   the   Croydon   Camera   Club,   at   which eight   clubs   duly   agreed   to   form   themselves   into   THE   SOUTH LONDON    FEDERATION    of    Photographic    Societies*,    the object   of   which   was   “To   improve   the   facilities   for   photography and foster fraternal relations between federated societies.” Those eight clubs were: ACC    &    TAB    C.C.,    BECKENHAM    P.S.,    CROYDON    C.C., PUTNEY    C.C.,    OLD    COULSDON    C.C.,    SOUTH    LONDON P.S., STREATHAM PARK P.S. and SUTTON C.C. Since   those   early   days   many   clubs   have   come   and   gone, some   having   joined   and   left   the   Federation   more   than   once; others   have   changed   their   names,   amalgamated,   or   for   one reason   or   another   been   dissolved.   The   total   number   of   clubs in   membership   has   varied,   the   maximum   being   26   at   the   time of the 21st Birthday celebrations in 1968. From   the   beginning,   the   aim   of   the   Committee   has   been   to encourage    the    exchange    of    visits    and    ideas    among    the member   clubs.   In   the   first   two   years,   in   spite   of   having   to   work on   shoe-string   finances,   the   Committee   organised   inter-Club competitions,    postal    portfolios,    and    produced    a    syllabus containing   an   outline   programme   for   all   member   clubs. A   start was   also   made   on   the   preparation   of   a   list   of   judges   and lecturers,   and   a   very   successful   inter-Federation   meeting   was held   with   the   Middlesex   County   Photographic   Alliance.   Under the   Chairmanship   of   Mr.   S.   E.   Whittaker   ARICS,   of   Croydon C.C.,   and   with   Mr.   L.B.   Fleming   of   Streatham   Park   P.S.   as Secretary,   the   firm   foundation   was   established   on   which   all subsequent success has been built. Undoubtedly   the   most   appreciated   activity   of   the   Federation has   been   the   inter-Club   competitions.   The   monochrome   print competition   was   started   in   1947   with   the   original   members formed   into   two   groups   of   four.   South   London   P.S.   won   the first   series   of   competitions   in   their   Jubilee   year   and   were   the first   holders   of   the   Holroyd   Trophy   generously   presented   by Mr. R. O. Wooton on behalf of Putney C.C. The   first   Finals   were   held   by   invitation   of   member   clubs   on their   own   meeting   nights   until   1952,   when   the   Committee   felt sufficiently   confident   of   the   interest   in   the   competitions   to   hire a   hall   at   Cambridge   House,   Camberwell,   on   a   Saturday   and put   on   a   full   afternoon’s   programme.   This   included,   in   addition to    the    final    of    the    inter-Club    competition,    competitions    for individual   entries   of   monochrome   and   colour   slides,   and   prints made   from   35mm   negatives,   a   film   show,   and   an   address   by Baron,   the   court   photographer.   For   the   first   time   an   exhibition of   certificate   winning   prints   was   hung   and   the   best   print   of   the year   was   selected.   The   result   was   a   resounding   success   from which   has   grown   the   annual   Finals   Day   event   which   is   now one    of    the    biggest    and    best    supported    meetings    among amateur photographers. In    1957    the    Finals    were    held    at    Cobbs    Banqueting    Hall, Sydenham    in    the    presence    of    the    President    and    Vice President    of    the    Royal    Photographic    Society.    In    1958    and 1959   we   enjoyed   the   facilities   at   Lambeth   Town   Hall,   and   in 1960   moved   to   the   Livesey   Memorial   Hall,   Lower   Sydenham, where    the    Kent    Gas    C.C.    generously    provided    excellent accommodation for all subsequent Finals events until 1976. In   1977,   78   and   79   the   event   was   held   at   St.   Mary’s   Church Hall,   Wellesley   Road,   Croydon,   the   H.Q.   of   Thornton   Heath C.C.   In   1980   Selsdon   C.C.   arranged   for   the   Finals   to   be   held at   St.   John’s   Church   Hall,   Selsdon.   From   1981   to   1991   Old Coulsdon   C.C.   hosted   the   event   at   their   (then)   Headquarters at   Coulsdon   Youth   and   Social   Centre.   The   event   continued   to be   held   there   until   2006,   except   for   1990   when   we   had   to   go to   Purley   Council   Offices   for   the   day.   In   2007   the   Federation has   opted   to   move   to   All   Saints   Church   halls,   Sanderstead. 1992   saw   the   first   year   of   having   a   different   Club   each   year   to organise the catering for Finals Day. To   add   zest   to   the   competitions,   trophies   have   very   kindly been   presented   by   various   members   from   time   to   time;   a   full list is given elsewhere in this handbook. Over   the   years,   various   other   interests   have   been   catered   for, such   as   competitions   for   slides,   colour   prints,   and   audio-visual presentations,   including   a   biennial   Audio-Visual   Competition held    at    Sanderstead.    The    Audio-Visual    Competition    was started   in   1985   as   an   annual   event   but   in   1990   changed   to   its present   biennial   frequency,   to   allow   competitors   more   time   to acquire   sufficient   material   to   put   together   a   programme   of work of a higher standard. In   2005   the   first   competition,   Jack’s   Jug,   was   held   for   images projected   digitally,   and   in   the   following   year   the   federation organised    its    first    inter-club    competition,    The    Vic    Smith Trophy,   for   such   images.   In   this   respect   we   were   ahead   of   our neighbouring   federations   in   consolidating   digital   photography into our programme. We   have   also   held   from   time   to   time   autumn   lectures   and meetings   of   judges   and   programme   secretaries.   Seminars   to help   new   judges   have   been   organised   to   swell   the   number   of judges   working   in   our   area.   From   1983   biennial   exhibitions have   been   held   in   the   Fairfield   Halls   with   the   sponsorship   of Mr.   Alex   Falk   of   Mr   Cad   and   then   with   the   sponsorship   of Hargreaves   (KJP)   Ltd.   In   1999   the   Exhibition   was   moved   to the   Sutton   Central   Library,   but   has   not   been   held   since,   owing to lack of sponsorship. Since   the   new   Millennium   the   Federation   has   increasingly   felt the   pressures   experienced   by   many   voluntary   groups   in   these modern   times.   Numbers   were   generally   going   down   and   clubs were   finding   it   difficult   to   attract   younger   people.   However   the accessibility   and   excitement   of   digital   technology   is   starting   to reverse   these   trends   and   in   many   clubs   there   is   a   growing confidence   in   the   future.   A   notable   feature   of   the   changes   in club   membership   is   that   the   nearer   to   inner-London   the   club   is located,   the   harder   it   is   to   survive.   This   trend   has   been   clear throughout   the   sixty   years   of   the   federation,   and   even   clubs established    for    over    a    hundred    years,    such    as    Thornton Heath,   have   not   been   spared.   The   result   is   that   the   remaining clubs   lie   in   a   narrow   ring   around   the   edge   of   the   Federation’s geographic limits, a less-than-ideal situation. The    Federation    has    joined    the    Kent    County    Photographic Association,   who   actually   altered   their   Rules   to   enable   us   to do    so,    our    only    right    of    membership    being    that    we    have access    to    the    low    cost    public    liability    insurance    arranged through the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain. August   2003   marked   the   end   of   an   era   with   the   passing   of Kathy    Robinson,    who    had    given    31    years’    service    to    the Federation   as   Hon.   Secretary,   and   the   stepping   down   of   her successor   as   Hon   Secretary,   Eddie   Harris   of   Beckenham   PS, after    14    years’    service.    The   AGM    of    that    year    saw    fresh volunteers    for    the    principal    Committee    posts,    and    there remains   a   strong   awareness   of   the   value   of   the   Federation. We   have   a   solid   nucleus   of   clubs   which   should   ensure   that   the Federation continues for the foreseeable future. In   2009   it   was   decided   to   revise   the   organisation   of   the   main competitions   to   accommodate   the   changing   number   of   clubs and   the   increasing   difficulty   of   finding   enough   experienced judges.   This   re-organisation   also   saw   the   introduction   of   Plate competitions.      With      the      overwhelming      shift      to      digital photography,    it    also    saw    the    replacement    of    the    slide competitions   with   Projected   Digital   Image   competitions   in   the main    Federation    events    calendar.    The    slide    competitions continued    to    be    run    on    a    separate    evening.    The    new arrangements have worked very well in their first few years. The   Federation’s   last   slide   competitions   were   held   in   2011.   By the    following    year    there    were    considered    insufficient    slide workers   in   member   clubs   to   make   them   viable.   They   were, therefore,   discontinued   and   marked   the   end   of   an   era   in   the Federation’s history. * The   federation’s   name   was   later   changed   to   “The   Federation of   South   London   Photographic   Societies”   to   avoid   confusion with    the    existing    club,    the    “South    London    Photographic Society”